The battle for the forgotten district - Page 6

The future of San Francisco will be written in District 10. Who's ready to be the next supervisor?

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The Bayview's attractive to developers, but some fear the price will be the community's diversity and affordability.
PHOTO BY JUDITH CALSON

"If we don't end up at the table, we'll end up on the menu," Wesley Smith warned, as she stopped to chat with a group of young men, who were worried they would pushed out of the Alice Griffith rebuild through the criteria being established.

"Fred Blackwell, the executive director of the Redevelopment Agency, assures me that's not the case, but Alice Griffith is a Housing Authority property, and empty promises have the potential to be great promises provided they are made in writing," Wesley Smith said as we walked out of the projects and onto the road where a yellow and black sign announced "flooded" next to Candlestick Point park, where Lennar wants to build.

Malia Cohen expressed concern about Hope SF residents, as we drove through the Sunnydale housing project.

"We have to be diligent and mindful that people are not pushed out," Cohen said, noting the sweeping views at Gleneagles golf course above Sunnydale, and the value of housing for a golf course community. "When public housing gets taken offline, we must work with Redevelopment and the Housing Authority to make sure no one is changing the rules halfway. We have to make sure the talks and walks line up. We need to be equal partners. We cannot be bulldozed by City Hall."

Geoffrea Morris is a Calworks employee, at the Southeast Community College facility on Oakdale, which was built to mitigate the city's expansion of the sewage plant in 1987. She cited concerns about the literacy levels of people who live in the 2200 public housing units that cluster D10. "A lot of people in Alice Griffith don't even know the dates or when it's going to be reconstructed," Morris said. "Folks like to be told stuff like that, but the city gives you a stack of papers. Some will read them, but others rely on folks they think are trustworthy. They need stuff in layman's terms written on one sheet of paper."

Morris is a fan of the Internet who posted a community survey online, and made sure every housing project got some literature telling people to get informed. She worries about the digital divide in D10:

"A lot of folks don't have computers and access to important information," Morris said. "And let's talk about the way 'affordable' is used to trick people."

Michael Cohen, Newsom's top economic adviser, recently stated in a memo that over the expected 15-20 year phased build out, Lennar's Candlestick-Shipyard development would include, "up to 10,500 residential units, about 32 percent of which (3,345) will be offered at below market rates."

"But 892 units of this 'affordable category' will be sold to folks earning $100,000," Morris said. "So if you subtract 892 units from affordable unit category, you're back to 25 percent affordable."

Candidate Kristine Enea, an attorney and a former RAB member, chairs the India Basin Neighborhood Association, which administers a US EPA grant to hire experts to translate the Navy's cleanup documents into plain English and comment on them She was frustrated by the Navy's decision to dissolve the RAB.

"The lack of a forum does nothing to bolster the community's trust in the cleanup or the redevelopment process," Enea said.

Enea generally supports the Lennar project, but has concerns about whether it will adequately mitigate increased car traffic, or result in commercial development that benefits her neighborhood.

"India basin is a pocket of Hunters Point right along the shoreline," Enea said. "Right now, we have no shops or restaurants, no ATM, no groceries, nothing beyond one liquor store and a few industrial businesses.

Potrero Boosters president Tony Kelly told us that District 10 residents can think for themselves. "D10 residents don't need to rely on corporations to solve their problems," he said.